Deloitte Report Finds Growing Pressure on Companies to Prioritise Human Sustainability

June 28, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-deloitte

In a newly released report by Deloitte, conducted in collaboration with the independent research firm Workplace Intelligence, a significant trend has emerged: companies are under mounting pressure to prioritise human sustainability.

The comprehensive report that was published earlier in June sheds light on the growing expectations for organisations to enhance the well-being and value of their employees, extending beyond mere profitability to fostering a healthier, more skilled, and purpose-driven workforce.

“It’s promising that so many of today’s leaders are willing to take ownership of human sustainability,” said Dan Schawbel, managing partner at Workplace Intelligence. 

“However, some executives don’t realise that their own employees are dealing with a suboptimal work experience. The disconnects uncovered in our research should be a call to action for leaders as they embark on their mission to create greater value for all stakeholders within the broader human ecosystem,” Schawbel added. 

Human sustainability under the microscope

The report tackles the concept of human sustainability which encompasses a range of factors, including health and well-being, skill development, job quality, opportunities for advancement, equity, inclusion, belonging, and alignment with purpose.

The survey, conducted in February and March 2024, included responses from 3,150 employees, managers, and C-level executives across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. 

Now in its third year, the survey revealed that a majority of C-suite executives, including about eight out of ten CEOs, feel the pressure to publicly commit to human sustainability initiatives. 

This pressure comes from a diverse array of stakeholders: employees (82%), customers (78%), investors (78%), partners (77%), and board members (77%).

Leadership must embrace the challenge of human sustainability

Leaders are not only acknowledging this pressure but also embracing it, the report finds. Around 88% of surveyed executives expressed a desire for their compensation to be tied to human sustainability metrics, and 71% believe that company leadership should change if they fail to advance these goals. 

Additionally, around three-quarters of executives agree that human sustainability should be measured, monitored, and discussed at the board level.

“Embracing human sustainability can have benefits for both business and people,” said Paul Silverglate, U.S. Executive Accelerators leader and Deloitte’s US Technology Sector Vice Chair. 

“Today’s C-suite has an opportunity to help ensure it is prioritised at the highest levels of their organisations, helping them become more rewarding and productive places to work,” Silverglate added.

There remains to be a disconnect between leaders’ perceptions and workers’ realities

Despite the optimistic outlook among executives, the report uncovers a significant disconnect between leaders’ perceptions and workers’ experiences. The same findings were previously reported in another research.

While 82% of the executives believe their companies are making strides in human sustainability, only about 56% of the surveyed workers agree. 

Moreover, a staggering 90% of executives think working for their company positively affects employee well-being and development, whereas less than 60% of the  workers share this sentiment.

Although around 70% of executives believe that physical, mental, financial, and social well-being improved last year, only about one-third of workers agree.

Additionally, the report also highlights a strong call for transparency and accountability. Eighty-two percent of executives support the idea of mandatory public reporting on human sustainability metrics.

However, 81% of the executives surveyed admit their organisations are falling short in making such public commitments. Approximately one-third of these leaders cite the triviality of realistic goals as a barrier to making public commitments.


The HR Observer

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